9 things you should know about using prime lenses

1. They make you work harder

With a zoom lens, it's easy to get lazy and zoom in and out, letting the lens do the hard work for you, but a prime lens makes you think about the shot more, forcing you to be more creative.

2. Weight

With few moving parts, prime lenses are more compact and lighter than their zoom siblings - perfect if you want to travel light. That said, some expensive primes with lots of quality glass elements that's matched by a tank-like build quality can be heavy beasts.

3. Bigger is better

The 'fastest' lenses have apertures of f/1.4 or f/1.8 and enable higher shutter speeds and reduced depth of field. This makes them more useful than f/2.8 lenses.

4. Play with light

Invest in a neutral density filter if you want to shoot with large apertures in sunny conditions. This will force the shutter speed to be extended, allowing you to shoot wide-open at f/1.4 or f/1.8 and avoid overexposing the shot.

5. Choose your focal length

Before diving in and getting your prime lens, do your research. You may think you need a 24mm prime, but a quick look at the focal lengths you use most in Lightroom might reveal that in actual fact you tend to shoot more at 28 or 35mm.

6. Close quarters

A macro facility adds versatility, but you'll have to be very close to the object you're shooting with a 50mm lens, and a 35mm is almost unusable.

7. Open wide

When shooting at the maximum aperture with fast f/1.4 lenses, outright sharpness can be a bit lacking in some instances, particularly at the edges of the frame, but this varies from lens to lens.

8. Sitting pretty

A 50mm lens on an APS-C format body is a great combination for portraiture. A maximum aperture of f/1.4 or f/1.8 enables you to blur the background much more effectively than you'd be able to with a budget 18-55mm zoom lens.

9. Investment banking

If your budget can stretch to it, It's a good idea to buy a professional optic, such as a full-frame compatible lens, even if you currently use an APS-C format DSLR. It future-proofs you in case you ever decide to trade up to a full-frame camera later on.